Having Mondays off during the school year has become my time to perform the bulk of my workbench sessions. With my wife (Kindergarten Teacher) and kids at school, I am left with the whole day to use at my leisure. That usually involves a good 2-3 hours working on my various builds. Well, today was no different and I feel quite accomplished with this mornings progress.
So first things first…the A-10. That is my main focus now that the Blackhawk is finished. Being in final paint makes it a lot easier to stick to that goal. The liquid mask was put to the test with unspectacular results. It certainly did the job but the result is the same as if I had used masking tape. There were also over-spray spots that I had to address later on. It was worth a shot but I think I will try to freehand the camouflage. Another good cleaning is in order for the airbrush and I will just take some time and dial the air pressure in until it works. That will come likely Saturday. I am all out of Euro I Grey so I need to order some before I can even attempt to start painting again.
The main progress today came in the F-15 and F-16. Cockpits have begun detail and assembly with the instrument panel decals getting applied as well. Secondary work went towards external fuel tanks, wings, and ordinance. I grabbed a set of IDF ordinance from Skunk Models for the F-15. I think I’m set with the F-16’s weapons. Being that it will be in the Tiger Meet markings, I doubt that it had a full load-out. With a little more research, I should get that squared away quickly.
If it weren’t for a nasty cold that has rampaged through my household, I would have accomplished far more than I did today. Unfortunately, it’s my turn for the sniffles which limited my activities for today. Painting the A-10 was completely out of the question so I focused all my efforts on the Blackhawk.
When I last left off, the Blackhawk was prepped for weathering. Instead of doing that first, I decided to perform all the final detail and touch-up painting. After a long nap and letting the paint dry, I went ahead and weathered the helicopter. From there it went out to get one last coat of clear matte so I can finish it up tomorrow. The main rotor is really the only part of final assembly that hasn’t been accomplished. Some of the components were overlooked in preliminary paint causing me to take care of that today. With a short session tomorrow, I should be all finished. Stay tuned!
The Blackhawk is finished with the very few decals needed to be applied. The build is kind of on cruise control from here on out. I will get a coat of clear matte applied sometime tomorrow and begin weathering on Friday. It feels fantastic to finally be at this point in the build after all the hardships faced throughout.
With my airbrush acting aloof, I do not want to attempt a camouflage pattern unassisted. That said, I definitely do not want sharp lines that masking tape will give me. I’ve tried the rolled edge method before and it just didn’t pan out. So I had an idea. Buried deep in my supply drawer were two bottles of liquid mask. Originally, I bought it to mask off smoke rings but never got around to using it. I have since bought a sheet of smoke ring decals. Anyway, the liquid mask was my solution on the upper surfaces and the lower surfaces will get some careful freehand since the belly won’t really be seen in the diorama.
As you can see there are mixed results to my efforts. The bottles are about four years old and performed as such with half being thick and promising and the rest being liquid. I gave it a shot and tested the thinner parts with success. It seems as though it will work. I would like to get out to the airbrush tomorrow night to get the second color applied. That’s the goal at least.
Well normally the title would mean exactly that here at Amateur Airplanes. With all of my ups and downs over the past year, it would be a very fitting description. Happily, it means nothing of the sort. I am referring to the two paint colors that were sprayed today. Olive Drab and US Helo Drab. Success!
So both the A-10 and Blackhawk have overcome the little annoying hang-ups and have been airbrushed. The Blackhawk will see the focus shift to itself as the A-10 still requires quite a bit of work. I will get some gloss applied before I head into bed so I can start decals tomorrow. The A-10 may get some masking attempted to prepare for the next color in the camouflage. Either way, it’s closer to completion after todays efforts.
I fully expected to get more progress accomplished over the weekend but some hangups on the Blackhawk and A-10 led to some more grind work. I am pretty squared away on both fronts and am back to planning my painting strategy. On a positive note, the F-16 and F-15 have both begun preliminary paint. Cockpit work will follow soon.
The work performed on the Blackhawk wasn’t exactly on the Blackhawk itself. It was on the external fuel tanks. The helicopter actually made it out to a final priming and looks good. The fuel tanks were getting finalized when not one, but both cracked along one of the seams. That led to re-gluing, re-filling, re-sanding, and then re-filling. The damage is minor now so it shouldn’t hamper my efforts too much longer.
Had I thought to check the entirety of the engine nacelles on the A-10, I would have had an easier time getting the rear filled properly. It’s a tiny space to get into and after a few rounds of filling and sanding, we are finished. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here but I think it’s time to start painting! The instructions will get a good look one final time and some final research will be looked at to make sure there aren’t anymore scratch-building projects before I fully commit. I’m getting excited to see the results of this venture.
The workbench has been slow going over the past few days. The Blackhawk is ready for final paint and until I find the spare time to get that accomplished, it’ll stay put. That will likely come this weekend. The A-10 has been the main focus for the week. In all actuality, it is about 99% ready for final paint as well. If it weren’t for an oversight of my own doing, it would be right there with the Blackhawk.
With the lack of detailed reference photos, I overlooked the fact that the back half of the engine nacelles are closed up too. I’m thankful that I caught it before it was too late. The project isn’t a big one with most of it completed already.
With the gun cover finished, I started off last night filling the voids with Silly Putty. I put just enough in so that I wouldn’t be filling the entire nacelle. After the proper depth was established, in came the filler. Both nacelles were filled and leveled off in a matter of minutes. All that was left was to set the aircraft aside and pick it back up tonight.
This evening was another quick session with a minor sanding session to even out the high spots. From there we traveled out to do some priming. It looks rough as it sits. Maybe when the primer dries it will look better. Either way, I have more to address. I will assess the progress tomorrow and add some more filler where it’s needed. My goal is to be finished by the weekend to start final paint.